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Re: SG-W:/ apologies...
I agree with all the points Doug made about the need to subsidize mass
transit and its benefits. My own tax payment to AATA this year was
$242.99 (that is 2.127 mills). That makes my cost per bus ride per year
approximately $242. (I really should use it more.) But still, I'm glad
to pay it.
It is my impression also that Ann Arbor is the only community to pay
property tax to support this service. There has been some vague talk
about a county-wide transportation millage sometime in the future. I
would be willing to pay that too, even though I already have bus
Township residents who yearn for better service should get busy and ask
their township governments to use general funds to pay for expanded
service, or even a millage vote for this. AATA would surely be willing
to rise to the challenge. Check out their strategic plan - see
where they discuss "Destination 2010". This envisions AATA serving the
entire county. I haven't downloaded the entire text yet, but I assume
that they have some hopes for additional tax support to pay for that.
Meanwhile, it still is true that you get the government services you pay
for. There is no free lunch.
Anne Heise wrote:
> I think AATA covers roughly 25% to 50% of its total cost from fares -
> probably on the low end of this range. This is not unusual for bus
> systems outside of urban areas, and even for some urban areas.
> Most of the balance comes from property taxes. I believe only Ann Arbor
> residents pay an AATA tax; a few other towns use general funds generated
> by property taxes to get very limited bus lines to their communities.
> But I hope you and others will check out your last few property tax bills
> and report back on whether you also have an AATA line on your bills so we
> cut to the chase on this question. By the way, Phil D'Anieri wrote a fine
> Observer article earlier this year on AATA operations and funding that
> might interest you.
> This is a tax I'm glad to pay. The "average cost" of each bus ride taken
> by our household is not low if you add in the tax burden. But the
> alternative of no bus system would impose far higher costs on us. We'd
> have even more crowded roads (accidents, time wasted, stress), even less
> parking, even more air and water pollution, and even more sprawl. I can
> think of several other negative impacts.
> In fact, my wife and I would be glad to pay the AATA tax even if for some
> reason we never rode a bus ourselves. A good mass transportation system
> is a basic public ammenity with the unusual feature of improving the
> quality of life for every resident - even those who live outside of the
> service (and tax) area - whether or not they use it directly.
> Doug Cowherd
> On Sat, 20 Oct 2001, Ron Torrella wrote:
> > I inadvertently left out reference to Rebecca
> > Head, in the quote in my last post. Ms. Head posted that bit about no
> > transit system being self-supporting (did she mean *country* or just
> > county?).
> > Ron Torrella
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